When Andy Smith and Denis Lucey opened contemporary Asian restaurant Luxsmith in Seddon in 2015, they always intended to expand. It took three years, but when the shop next door became available, they snapped it up for a wine bar and bottle shop.
Luxsmith Bar Wine Shop serves as a place for pre-dinner cocktails and post-dinner drinks, with wines mostly from Australia and Europe, craft beer on tap and crowd-pleasing cocktails from Tom Benn (ex Siglo). Bottles are available to take home or drink in for $15 corkage, priced from under $20 to just over $100. In the next couple of weeks, people will be able to have bottles delivered via Deliveroo. "It's a natural progression from what we've got going next door," says Smith.
Previously a vintage clothing store, the glass-fronted corner site underwent a transformation after a 10-month wait for permits and liquor licensing.
Now elements of their restaurant seep into the wine bar, including black steel finishes and cushioned bench seats "with black vinyl in the windows to shield people's bum cracks", says Smith. There's a curved timber bar fronted by remilled limestone, and racks carrying 170 wines by the bottle, picked by Ben Knight from Rutherglen wine bar Thousand Pound.
Food is limited to a few snacks (chilli-salted lotus root chips, five-spiced pork scratchings and spiced nuts), but there are vague plans for a private dining space to open upstairs within a year.
Luxsmith Bar joins neighbourhood favourite Seddon Wine Store, which turns 10 next month. As a local himself for two decades, Smith is part of the Seddon community and embraces a "the-more-the-merrier" philosophy.
Open Fri-Sat 4pm-midnight, Wed-Thu & Sun 4pm-11pm (soon daily).
Corner Charles & Gamon streets, Seddon, 03 9362 7333, luxsmith.com.au/bar